HOUSTON – The holiday season is going to look a lot different this year thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.
Even though the possibility of a vaccine is on the horizon, it is still important for people to practice social distancing and other health guidelines to keep their family safe and ensure the spread of COVID-19 doesn’t worsen.
The Houston Health Department released some suggestions on how to celebrate the holidays in the safest way possible, starting with limiting gatherings. The who do choose to gather with people who do not live in their home are encouraged to avoid non-household members for 14-days before and after their holiday event.
“I encourage everyone to make a few more sacrifices to keep our families and friends safe from the spread of COVID-19,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. “This virus thrives on gatherings and will take advantage of holiday festivities to sicken our loved ones and further spread in our community.”
Turner said people should remember that in this time to be with loved ones, there are those who are suffering loss or health complications because of the virus. Keeping distance and making smart choices will “save the lives of the people you love,” Turner said.
Here is what officials suggest you do:
- Opt for video calls to interact with loved ones without the associated risk of in-person gatherings.
- Hold your gathering outdoors to facilitate social distancing.
- Practice social distancing and mask-wearing when interacting with those who do not live in your home.
- When shopping, avoid crowded stores (such as on Black Friday) and opt for curbside or online shopping.
- Plan to go out during times where there are fewer people and remember to wear a mask, social distance and carry hand sanitizer.
Chief medical officer for the City, Dr. David Persse, said there is no way to completely eliminate the risk, following these suggestions will greatly reduce it.